The Sweeter Side to Kilkenny

Sweet-toothed travellers will be salivating at the choice of sweet treats in this county. This shortlist focuses on passionate makers who have pursued a dream to create something out of the ordinary. There are some producers selling their produce in their own cafés or shops and others who manufacture their goodies and supply them to retailers. And don't worry, there are no calories consumed in reading.

CakeFace Patisserie, Kilkenny

The cakes, pastries and desserts at CakeFace are a feast for the eyes as well as the taste buds. Let yourself be tempted by the Passionate Tart, the Zesty Nutcracker and FIGure It Out. As you can guess from their names, the sweet creations at CakeFace are far from run-of-the-mill. Owners, Laura and Rory Gannon, are both pastry chefs. Having worked with some of the best pastry teams in France and London, the Gannons returned home with the aim of creating quirky and unusual cakes, pastries and desserts. Need something more substantial? There is also delicious savoury food on offer.

  • CakeFace is located on the Medieval Mile between St Canice’s Cathedral and High Street
  • CakeFace loves good bread too – sourdoughs, ale bread, spelt bread and more are supplied fresh from the best artisan bakers in the south east
  • More at

With names like ‘Tango with Mango’, ‘FIGure it Out’ and ‘BanaMel’ it’s clear we’re not in apple tart land, and there’s a strong visual element to these exquisite creations: they look every bit as good as they taste, and they taste wow!'

― The McKennas' Guides

Truffle Fairy chocolatier, Thomastown

The truffle fairy is Mary Teehan, another producer who was inspired by world travel to come home and use her skills to produce out-of-the-ordinary confectionery – this time chocolates. Although best known for luscious truffles and chocolate fudge, the range has expanded to include chocolate bars and chocolate barks (bars covered with dried fruits and/or nuts), cakes and cookies. Most of the range has picked up serious awards, possibly because only the highest quality, locally sourced and organic ingredients are used.

It won’t surprise you to know that you can enjoy a range of hot chocolates at the Truffle Fairy shop and café as well as coffee and teas from around the world raw chocolate cake, gluten free and spelt baking and sweet or savoury spelt crepes.

  • Truffle Fairy is open Tuesday to Saturday 10am to 5pm
  • Truffle Fairy products are stocked by selected speciality stores including Glasraí and Goodies, Gowran, Co Kilkenny
  • More information and online shop at

There is indeed a touch of magic about chef Mary Teehan’s chocolate creations, and chocoholics visiting the Kilkenny area would do well to seek out both the chocolates themselves and the lovely Truffle Fairy Chocolate Café.

― Georgina Campbell

Cramers Grove luxury ice cream, sorbets and frozen yoghurts

With our growing preoccupation with food miles, it’s nice to know that this product is made from the milk and cream produced by Nigel and Carol Harper’s own dairy herd on the family farm just outside Kilkenny city. The ice cream is mixed in small batches, and no shortcuts are taken. The sorbets and frozen yoghurts are all free from artificial nasties but packed with real fruit.

  • You can buy tubs of Cramers Grove products at selected stores including Eurospar, Newpark Shopping Centre, Kilkenny and the Little Green Grocer, High Street, Kilkenny
  • Find it on the menu at Royal Spice, the Club House Hotel and the Pembroke Hotel, all in Kilkenny city and at The Truffle Fairy Café in Thomastown
  • More at

If you like your ice-cream luxurious then you need to try Cramers Grove.

Bob and Joan’s Juicy Jams

We love our jams in Ireland! Bob and Joan, a husband and wife team with a passion for preserving, are producing top-quality fruit-rich jams in really unusual flavours. Try fig and orange marmalade or red berry and rosé from the wine jams range. They grow and harvest a lot of their own fruit and collect and freeze all the wild berries used in the jams.

This is a very hands-on business. From their home in Thomastown Bob and Joan do everything! They create the recipes, make the jams, jellies and chutneys, bottle them, label the jars and do the deliveries and marketing! Both fine art painters, they even drew the pen drawings for the jar labels.

  • Bob and Joan’s Juicy Jams are available in selected Supervalu supermarkets nationwide

Mileeven Honey

This is another family affair, this time a mother and daughter team. Eilis Gough took up bee-keeping as a hobby in the late 80s. Fast forward 30 years and two hives have become over 100. Mileeven honey is today one of the leading honey suppliers in Ireland and abroad with a dizzying array of awards to its name. The range includes Manuka honey, organic honey, pure honey and lavender honey. Always positioned as premium honey, Milleeven is stocked by Harrods in the UK and Dean & Deluca in the US.

Eilis’s daughter Sarah has joined the business and has introduced a range of honeys with added fruit, nut or spice. Look out for Pure Honey with Ginger, Lemon, Orange and Cinnamon and Acacia Honey with Sour Cherries, Walnuts, Blueberries and Mixed Berries.

  • Read the Milleeven story on
  • Find it in selected Supervalu supermarkets in Ireland


In this article

Cakeface Patisserie

The Truffle Fairy

Joan & Bob’s Juicy Jams

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More than a Menu

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Kilkenny, winner of Ireland’s Foodie Destination Award 2018

Taste Kilkenny – Food Trail

Cakeface Patisserie

16 Irishtown, Kilkenny

056 7739971

[email protected]

Kilkenny's first patisserie located on the Medieval Mile in the shadow of St Canices Cathedral is the perfect resting point for coffee lovers and foodies alike. Their offering of handmade quirky and unusual cakes, pastries and desserts are works of art which you would be hard pushed to find in London or Paris Locally produced artisan breads and sourdoughs are beautifully displayed and are available to take home but be quick they don't last long. For coffee enthusiate Cakeface offers a house coffee locally roasted in small batches for freshness plus a constantly changing guest coffee which they source from artisan producers. Lunchtime consists of gourmet, made to order sandwich filled with delicious local ingredient on sour dough and artisan breads. Homemade soups and salad are available seasonally and made on site. The interior is in keeping with their desserts a little bit quirky and the atmosphere is relaxed. The staff are friendly and easy going and sure know how to make a great cup of coffee.

The Truffle Fairy

Chapel Ln, Thomastown, Co. Kilkenny

087 2862634

[email protected]

The Truffle Fairy was set up in 2005 by award winning chef Mary Teehan. After years of cooking and travel experience Mary brings a uniquely fresh approach to chocolate truffle making. Drawing on her experience and love of natural fresh ingredients, The Truffle Fairy stays true to taste and quality. Truffle Fairy hand makes high quality chocolate truffles, fudge, bars, chocolate eggs and cakes. Carefully chosen fine flavour couverture is paired with fresh spices and quality liquors to create some wonderfully unique and tasty chocolates. We only use the highest quality, locally sourced and organic ingredients when available to make our products.

Joan & Bob’s Juicy Jams

Cloghscregg, Thomastown, Co. Kilkenny

085 7320585

[email protected]

Joan & Bob’s Juicy Jams is a range of handmade preserves. Bob and Joan are a husband and wife team who have a combined passion for preserving, skills they learned from our mothers, who turned all the wild fruits, apples and berries grown on the family farms into the most memorable and delicious jams. At home in their kitchen in Thomastown, County Kilkenny, Ireland, they create and make all of their own unique recipes and flavour combinations. Alongside the creative process, they also complete the journey of the product; all the potting up, labelling, marketing and deliveries are done by themselves. They hand-tie colour coded ribbons on all their products and all the labels feature their own pen drawings and designs and recipe sugestions to recreate that nostalgic homemade look for your larder. They grow and harvest a lot of their own fruit and collect and freeze all the wild berries used in the jams. They sell their preserves to select Artisan food stores, craft butchers, health food shops and cafes, where they carry out regular tastings of their products.